Former BCNM Designated Emphasis student Naomi Bragin recently offered a workshop at EMPAC, an event curated by yet another former DE Ashley Ferro-Murray! We’re thrilled to see how the connections BCNM students make continue to inform their careers and academic practice!
Naomi Bragin is assistant professor in the school of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at University of Washington Bothell. Drawing from 20 years dancing in clubs, the streets, and onstage, she researches the intersections of dance, popular culture, media, and black political theory, attending to issues of cultural appropriation and aesthetic politics. Bragin is the founder of DREAM Dance Company, for which she was the recipient of a Ford Foundation Future Aesthetics Artist Award, a Zellerbach Foundation Grant, and was a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence.
Ashley Ferro-Murray is a curator and scholar whose work investigates the intersections between movement, digital culture, and interactive technology. She is the curator of theater and dance at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. Previously, Ferro-Murray was the Andrew W. Mellon Creative Time Global Fellow at New York City’s public arts organization, Creative Time.
Naomi presented the following workshop while at EMPAC:
Black Power of Hip Hop Dance: On Kinesthetic Politics
Hip hop dancer, choreographer, and scholar Naomi Bragin will be at EMPAC for a workshop on the dance style known as the Robot, Robotting, or Botting. The event will introduce the basic steps and movements of Robotting and contextualize them within the history and practice of street dance. Participants will then be invited to take part in a dance workshop featuring the freestyle circle, a collective improvisation fundamental to black expressive dance practices. Bragin will also address the complex relationship between kinesthesia, politics, and technology, and how this relationship enables our understanding of hip hop culture. The workshop explores what happens when the body is the robot and the robot is the body on the street.
Read more about EMPAC here